The ‘why’ defines your brand

In a recent article the Customer Service Speaker Shep Hyken asked the question: “What Do You Want People To Think When They Hear Your Company Name“.

The basic thrust of the piece was “What do you want to be known for? If there were one word or short phrase you wanted to be known for, what would it be?”. Shep explains that that word or phrase is your brand.

Now, this ties in very nicely with some work I was doing recently with a private client around the concept of being remarkable. In order to leverage the power of word-of-mouth you need to give your customers something positive to talk about, to remark upon. To quote Andy Sernovitz from WordofMouth.org “Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers and they will do the rest.”

There are 4 key elements to creating a company that people want to talk about:

1. Give great service. Obvious perhaps but so many company’s still don’t get it.
2. Be different. Break some stereotypes!
3. Create amazing experiences. Don’t just do what people expect: go beyond and ‘wow’ them.
4. Be human. Share your passions and connect with your customers on an emotional level. Stand for something.

For me it is number 4 that should be the starting point: that is where your single word or phrase is to be found. As Simon Sinek says “Start With Why”.

And that is what I was working on with my client. We were looking for her ‘why’, her purpose, her beliefs. From the “why” you can attract the right people to deliver the great service, to be different and to wow. And in turn your company will attract the customers who attribute value to your purpose and beliefs: they will first of all buy into you and then, all things being equal, they will buy your product or service.

Your ‘why’ stated in a word or short phrase will be the ‘story’ that your customers can pass onto others – and they will do it willingly and for free.

As for me, my ‘why’ is because I believe in authenticity and the creation of business value through collaboration with like-minded stakeholders: shareholders, employees, suppliers and customers. I believe the relationship should be win-win-win and for everyone to have a positive experience. Hence my phrase is: It’s all about the experience.

So what word or phrase defines your brand?

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